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Will You Meet the Challenge?

What happens when you have no other choice, but to change?

I was working out yesterday and eavesdropping on the ladies next to me.  We have been meeting at the local high school track, exercising six feet apart, since our gym has been closed since March.

One mom asked another how her son and his friends were coping with his senior year and high school graduation being left in chaos due to the coronavirus.

“He’s fine.  The kids are fine.  It’s the parents who are losing their minds,” she responded.

COVID-19 has upended a lot of traditions - graduation, prom, birthdays, funerals, and weddings.  Parents have invested years, working toward the day they see their child walk across the stage to receive that diploma.  Women have dreamed for years about their perfect wedding day.  Unfortunately, a highly contractable virus does not stand on tradition.

So, what happens when you have no control over your circumstances, or your environment?

Viktor Frankl, Austrian psychiatrist and holocaust survivor said it best, 
“When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves.”

We are challenged to change ourselves.

We are challenged.

We are challenged to change our thinking.  We are challenged to change our actions.  We are challenged to change our expectations.  We are challenged to change our preconceived notions. 

We are challenged.  Your choice to meet the challenge determines your outcome.

Choice #1:  See the challenge as an opportunity.

Choice #2:  See the challenge as a catastrophe.

I have received two wedding invitations for August 2020.  When coronavirus began ravaging our state, these two couples were challenged to make some hard decisions.  Do they postpone?  Do they cancel?  Do they bury their heads in the sand and hope for it all to end in time?  Two similar situations, two different outcomes. 

Couple #1 chose to adapt.  They had a beautiful wedding planned at a ski resort.  After much deliberation, this couple has chosen to have an outdoor ceremony and reception in their backyard.  Taking their guests into account, they wrote this note on their invitation:

               “We are looking forward to celebrating with you all! 
                If you are unable to attend due to the current circumstances,
                we both understand.  All events will take place outdoors,
                and masks and hand sanitizer will be available.  Please visit
                our wedding website for updates...”

Those who choose to see the challenge as an opportunity embrace the situation as it is, not as they wish it were.  Couple #1 met the challenge.  We RSVP’d Yes.

Couple #2 made no changes.  They stuck to their plan to have an indoor wedding at an iconic hotel.  This couple did not make any compromises or show any concern for their guests.  They complained about the inconvenience and the effort it would take to postpone.  They waited for the government to change the guidelines in time for their wedding.  That did not happen.  Only after more than half of their guests declined the invitation, did they realize that they had to make a change and decided to postpone. 

Those who choose to see the challenge as a catastrophe have surrendered before the battle has even begun.  Couple #2 did not meet the challenge.  We RSVP’d No.

We can let life happen to us, or we can make life happen for us.

When faced with circumstances you cannot change, how do you respond?  Will you meet the challenge and change yourself?